Understanding Your Housework Preference Results

If you’ve finished the Housework Preferences quiz and have questions about your results, this is where you can find more explanation of how we calculated your results, what they mean, and what to do next:

Housework Preference: Work Balance Results

Your Work Balance

The first results you’ll see are two Work Balance figures. These are calculated based on your Household Balance Calculator Results.

The first is your Total Unpaid Work Balance, which shows you how close you are to sharing the unpaid workload equally. If your result shows that you’re doing too much, the result displayed will show how many hours you should reduce your workload to get to equal.

Depending on you and your partner, you may be aiming to share your housework and care work equally. But if you’re not, you might prefer to aim for a more equal share of overall workload that factors in paid work hours as well – in which case the second result will be more relevant to you.

The second result shown is your Total Paid & Unpaid Work Balance. This result might be more relevant to you if one of you works longer paid hours and shows you how close you are to equal. 

You don’t need to aim to get either of these balances to zero, representing equal share of workload. These results simply show you how close you are to each, and together with your partner you can decide what balance works best for you.

The Work You Like & Don't Like

The next results show how much of the work you do is things you like or don’t mind doing. The hours of work you do are calculated using your results from the Household Balance Calculator, combined with your preferences. These figures can vary significantly from person to person. If one of you doesn’t like most types of housework and care work, you may have a very low number for work you like doing. 

But the important thing to look for here is to discuss with your partner if there are any types of work one of you particularly likes doing that they do not routinely do. You may be able to make things easier and more enjoyable for your household by discussing how you and your partner can each maximise the hours of work you like doing, without compromising your overall balance.

The other result in this section shows how much of the work you each do that neither of you likes doing. These numbers should be considered in the context of your overall work balance. Not liking most housework and care work should not mean that one of you has much less of the workload overall. 

However by looking at the work that no one likes doing, you might be able to reduce conflict, make more time for yourselves, and improve your relationship by finding ways to outsource or reduce these tasks. Find out more.

Housework Preference: Work You Like & Don't Like Results
Housework Preference: Value of Work You Don't Like Results

Value Of The Work No One Likes Doing

Next in your results is the economic value of the work no one likes doing. This result shows you how much you could pay to outsource this work, so that no one in your household has to do it. 

It’s important to bear in mind if you do want to consider outsourcing, that organising the outsourcing is another form of work. So if you do decide to outsource some tasks, the person who is doing less of the overall work currently might be the best person to take ownership of the task of arranging the outsourcing. 

Find out more.

Recommendations: Redistribute the work

The recommendations are designed to help you and your partner understand the simplest place to start a conversation on actions you can take to improve your overall balance. The first option is to discuss whether there are tasks you could redistribute. Redistributing tasks means one of you taking over a task that the other person was previously responsible for. 

The hours of work that you can redistribute are based on your unpaid work balance results above, and will show you how much of the workload one of you should take on from the other to achieve an equal share of unpaid work. However if the total work balance result is more relevant to your household, refer to those results when discussing how you can redistribute your workload.

You’ll also see the categories you’ve each chosen as the best starting point for balancing your workloads. Take a look at the categories shown and see first if you have both chosen the same category – this would be the best starting point for one of you to start taking responsibility for more of the work. 

However even if you have chosen different categories, it’s best to discuss which specific tasks you would like to redistribute. For example, you might quite like putting on a load of laundry and hanging it out to dry, but dislike folding it and putting it away. If your partner is happy to take on the tasks of folding laundry and putting it away, that’s an opportunity to balance your workload, and improve your wellbeing.

Recommendations: Outsource the imbalance

The second option for how you can start taking action is to discuss whether there are tasks you could outsource. 

Outsourcing a task means paying a person or purchasing a service to take over this work for you. Examples of outsourcing can include getting a cleaner, using a laundry service, subscribing to meal boxes, having regular deliveries from a milkman, and many more.

You will notice that the amount of time it’s recommended that you outsource to get your workload balanced is double what we recommend for redistributing. This is to show that if your aim is to achieve an equal share of unpaid work, you will need to reduce the workload of the person who is doing more to the same number of hours as the person who is doing less. 

Bear in mind that if your goal is to balance your total workload instead of unpaid workload, you should use your Total Paid & Unpaid Work Balance result to guide discussion.

Of course, you do not need to choose only one option for balancing your workload. The solution for you and your partner may be to redistribute some tasks and outsource others. Every couple’s solution will be specific to them – there is no right answer, only what’s right for the two of you.

Find out more.

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